New substation promises power


DOWLING – The media got a first look Thursday at a new power substation in Wood County aimed at
reinforcing voltage and keeping up service following power plant closings in recent years.
The $20 million Dowling Transmission Substation located at 22105 Mercer Road, just off of Dowling Road,
has been three years in the making.
"It’s all about looking at the entire system and figuring out where best to put" infrastructure
to make the system more reliable,  Toledo Edison Regional President Rich Sweeney said at Thursday’s
The work to put in the Dowling site included connecting the substation with others in the region, with
more than 45 miles of new 345-kilovolt transmission lines at a cost of nearly $32 million.
The substation is part of FirstEnergy’s $4.2 billion Energizing the Future initiative, begun as
"power plants in the region are deactivated due to the high cost of complying with revised U.S. EPA
standards," according to a document circa late 2012 prepared when the project was still in its
planning stages.
In a press release issued for Thursday’s event, First Energy noted that because of the closings,
"FirstEnergy/Toledo Edison needed to invest in the infrastructure needed to assure continued safe
and reliable service for customers, especially through the summer months, when demand for electricity is
at its highest.
"The new Dowling Transmission substation, along with several other large projects, were completed
and energized before their planned June 1, 2015, in-service date."
The more-than 72 acre property was purchased in late 2012 by a First Energy Subsidiary, American
Transmission Systems, for just under $938,000. American Transmission Systems owns First Energy’s
transmission lines and substations in Ohio.
Concerning the Dowling substation’s location, Sweeney said that "we really needed a high voltage
system" here, especially to serve growing areas like Perrysburg, just up the road from the site.

At the substation, the 354-kV transmission line enters the facility, and after passing through voltage
measurement devices, a disconnection switch and circuit breakers, it comes to the transformers, where
the voltage is shrunk to 138 kV.
That lower voltage line then goes through another array of breakers and other devices before leaving the
Sweeney likened the 345-kV transmission system to "the Turnpike, and the Dowling Substation is like
an exit."
The substation provides more flexibility in the event of an outage, Sweeney said, and allows the system
to "bypass damage" in such circumstances.
The site will be unmanned on a day-to-day basis, but whether workers will be on-site is "really just
a question of our maintenance schedule."
The substation can be operated remotely from a control station in Akron, and it is monitored remotely by
security cameras. There are alarm systems in place to call workers to the site to fix any problems.

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